11.30.2012

$30.00 brickyard buffalo giveaway!


You guys may have seen the words Brickyard Buffalo floating around the internet as of late... well that would be beacuse they are a brand new online pop-up market that features only quality and on-trend products at a discounted price.
Today they are offering a $30.00 credit to their site to use on anything that is up for sale! The credit will be good for 30 days. Who couldn't use $30.00 dollars right now when it comes to Christmas shopping?! Am I right?
Still not excited? In the next little bit they will be featuring, Make Pie Not War - Gold or Sterling Silver necklace, Ruby + Sue - Bows, On Your Case - iPhone Cases (great mens gifts), Freshly Picked - Children's Moccasins, Twig Creative - Wooden Toy Cameras, Armelle Jewelry - Necklaces

Get in on the action...

HOW TO ENTER:

Mandatory:
Be a follower of Crowley Party via GFC
"Like" Brickyard Buffalo on Facebook

Extra Entries:
Follow & Tweet about this giveaway @alyciagrayce @Brickyard_Buff
Follow Crowley Party on Bloglovin'
Giveaway ends 12/7
GOOD LUCK!


11.28.2012

a "utah" mormon...

a shot from back in my university of utah days :) circa 2008

Moving to Utah for school did something to me that I wasn't expecting. It made me more aware of the fact that I was Mormon then I have ever felt before in my life.

I went to the University of Utah not knowing a soul attending there. I had left my family, friends and boyfriend back home. And I was experiencing this awareness of my religion in a heightened sense. Mormonism was everywhere, it was at the forefront of my mind.

Where I grew up was made up of a relatively diverse group of people. There wasn't one dominating homogeneous group. Coming to Utah was a culture shock - and I am a Mormon! Go figure.
 
I will admit, it was nice to feel apart of the "group" because of my religion, something I didn't experience growing up in San Diego. But it was also very different and odd for me to be surrounded by so many people that believed the same things, and that acted the same way etc. That was just something I was not used to.

Living in Utah I have never had to feel uncomfortable because I am a Mormon. But as I have lived here, I can't help but comment on the phenomenon of the Utah Mormon culture. I know a lot of members get upset when they hear the term "Utah Mormon", and I am not trying to stereotype all members of the Church from Utah or people who live in Utah, but there is no denying that growing up as a Mormon in parts of Utah is very different then growing up outside of the heavily Mormon populated state. I am not saying one is better, just different. Very different.

I was not used to seeing an LDS Church on every block, or not having to explain Mormon terminology to people. I grew up always giving the definition of a "church word" so people would understand what I was talking about. For example, I had just moved to Salt Lake City and I was talking to a girl I had met on the trax on my way to class and was saying how I had a ward activity and quickly added that a ward was what we called the group of people you attend church with based on where you live etc. You should have seen the look she gave me... like "yeah, duh, I know." Well sorry, I wasn't used to people "just knowing."

I also couldn't help but notice that a lot of people who are not Mormon are not huge fans of living among a bunch of Mormons. Now that is not everyone, I know a lot of people who love living among Mormons! But with that said I have met quite a bit of people who do not like living here and are bitter or upset about the Mormon culture that they have to deal with on a daily basis, and I am not sure I can blame them completely.

I am obviously bringing up a lot of stereotypes here, but the fact of the matter is, there is truth to it.

I guess I am trying to pose the question for those of you who are Mormon who grew up in Utah, do you see this? Do you recognize this in your culture here? Do you even think there is a culture? I am fascinated by this aspect of my religion and how it pertains specifically to Utah and would love to hear some insight from people who experienced it, Mormon or not.

11.27.2012

tid + bits via instaLOVE♥




ice cream &bubble baths  glitter &polka dots  annoying my hard working husband haha exercising my right to vote :) woot woot girl's night ice cream (lots of ice cream this month?) haha pretty much the best cupcake I have ever had - pumpkin cheesecake bite snow fall surprise birhday dinner &gifts for a dear friend :) 

♥ ♥ ♥

 

11.25.2012

turkey, turkey...


Trevor studied all morning and even right before we ate! Poor guy.
A very stuffed Trevor sleeping on my shoulder and me trying not to laugh too hard.
Serenading me with his piano skills.
&we ended with games :)

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving with family &friends! Our week was full of working, studying, family, yummy food, black friday deals, and getting some items checked off the ever growing to do list.

Pretty sure I want to vote to implement at least one National Holiday every month - I love the sound of long weekends to look forward to every four weeks or so :)

How was your Thanksgiving weekend?!



11.21.2012

thankful...



With it being Thanksgiving tomorrow, I thought it would be fitting to write a list of all the things I am thankful for in my life. 

Lets start with the frivolous stuff :)

I am thankful for Mac n' Cheese, and how a bowl of it can make a bad day alright :)

I am thankful for the feeling of squishing sand between my toes, and the smell of salt in the air.

I am thankful for hugs, is there really any better feeling then a nice tight hug?

I am thankful for a warm cup of hot chocolate.

I am thankful for sleeping in.

Now on to the things that really matter...

I am grateful that I married an amazing man. Yes, I am about to brag about my love. He is driven, talented, smart and makes me want to be a better person. Together we have grown so much in the last 3 years it honestly amazes me, I can't wait for the rest of our lives together :)

I am greatful for a loving family. I don't know what I did to get blessed with such amazing parents and  fun loving siblings. I also ended up with pretty great in-laws. At the end of the day I consider myself truly blessed and lucky to have a supportive family that loves me and that I can call my best friends.

I am thankful for amazing friends. I feel like I have the best friends anyone could ever ask for. I am lucky to have made these friendships not only back home but in my new home of Utah. It is comforting to know I always have people I can count on wherever I am. I know I would do anything for them and they would do anything for me. I love you all! You all know who you are ;)

I am grateful for my faith. I am comforted constantly in my life through the knowledge that families can be together forever, and that I have a Heavenly Father that loves me and knows me personally. I am thankful for the gift of prayer and the Atonement to be able to progress every day to be the type of person I hope to someday be.

I am thankful for the life I have here in America, that I get to live in a country where I can vote, and speak my mind. I can choose to live whatever religion I want, I can get an education, I can choose who I want to marry, and how I live my life. I am forever in debt to the people who came before me to give me these rights – for there are far too many people who don’t get these opportunities.

I am thankful for my health, I mean what is life without that?

And to end :)...
I am grateful for this little ol’ blog. For the opportunity I have to share my thoughts and love for my family with all of you. I am thankful for the friends I have made through blogging and the happiness and love I have felt from reading about your lives and family. Sharing in our human experiences. Thank you.

I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving with your family &friends!



11.20.2012

thankful for helping hands...




I have seen this video make the rounds on the internet the past week or so and when I caught myself crying through the middle of it I knew I had to share it will all of you.

I am so grateful to be apart of an organization that puts such an emphasis on serving others.

I am thankful for my family, my health and the ability I have to help others.

I hope we can all look for more opportunities to serve those around us.

11.19.2012

touchy, feely...


When two people get married they are bringing together all the many different aspects of who they are to a whole new union, a new family. They each bring in different aspects of who they are, and a big part of who they are is how they were raised and the habits they have.

For example, when we first got married I thought it was strange that Trevor insisted on putting the salt and pepper together on the top of the stove. It didn't really bother me per se, but I thought it was an odd place to put them.

Then one day while at my in-laws I was helping clean up after dinner when I noticed that they had their salt and pepper together on top of the stove. AHA! It all made sense now.

We individually develop little habits growing up, that we bring into our homes. Most of these go unnoticed, others become big problems for couples to work through. Another example is my frugal need to not waste anything, which actually has come back to bite me in the butt (or hand), and Trevor's easy ability to throw anything away.

One time we were washing dishes, and we had just opened up a brand new sponge. Trevor accidentally dropped it on the floor, and insisted that it was now filthy and needed be thrown away. I was raised that a "little dirt don't hurt" and thought this was ludicrous, I mean, it was a BRAND NEW sponge that you use to wash dirty dishes? I digress...

I grew up in an extremely touchy, feely home. I remember when I first realized this. After several sleepovers with friends, I realized they didn't kiss and hug as much as we did in our house. One time I had a friend come over and my friend saw my dad kiss me right on the lips. She was thoroughly disgusted, and to be honest, I had no clue why she had that reaction. She informed me that you DO NOT kiss your dad on the lips. That is gross.

Hmm, this had just always been my normal. We cuddle, we hug, we kiss. All of us. This is how my household was. Trevor's family is not nearly as touchy, feely as mine, so sometimes I wonder what it will be like with our kids. Will I be the super affectionate one? Will Trevor start following my suit? My Dad said in his family they never did those things, but he was totally like that with us.

Habits, traditions, ideals - they can be an interesting part of shaping a marriage and family - and I am really excited to see how ours shapes up :)

11.17.2012

bijou girl's night...

When I moved to Utah I always heard about a handmade market called Bijou. I went for the first time back in 2009, and have gone every year since. I always walk away with something!

Since moving to Provo I have become best friends with Kelsey and Diana who both participate in the Bijou market. I have such talented friends :) &they always have great booths!

Diana had motherly duties, so just Kelsey and I made a girl's night out of it and went to check out all the goods as well as see what needed restocked in her booth.

Bijou didn't disappoint and was full of some really great stuff! After we headed over to Station 22 for some dinner. It was so busy and we had to wait forever to be seated, but it was fine because Kelsey and I are never short of great conversation :) We also had fun playing with Kelsey's fish eye lens all night if you couldn't tell haha

Then for some reason, even though it was pouring rain and freezing we decided it would be a good idea to get ice cream - which actually did turn out to be a good idea.

We didn't want Diana to feel left out, so we went over to visit her after she had put her kiddos to bed :) Ice cream, laughing, talking, what a great way to end the night!


11.15.2012

overnight stuffed french toast...

courtney and I devoured it all, and apparently we both have the tendency to wear large sports team tops to bed :) haha

Trevor's sister Courtney and her husband Eric have had a bunch of different reasons to come up to Northern Utah lately and have stayed with us three different times now. It has been fun :) Whenever I have house guests, and if I have the time, I like to make something yummy for breakfast. I found a recipe on Pinterest and adapted it a bit to fit my tastes and thought you guys might like it. The beauty of this french toast is how you decide to make it depends on how much time you have. It can be done in the oven, or just cooked up on the skillet the morning of.
 
What You Need (double depending on amount needed)
1 tub  (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA 1/3 Less Fat than Cream Cheese
3 Tbsp.  sugar
8 slices cinnamon-swirl bread
4 eggs
1/2cup  milk
2cups  sliced fresh strawberries
Teaspoon Vanilla


Make It
Mix reduced-fat cream cheese and sugar until well blended; spread onto bread. Place bread slices, cream cheese-sides up, in a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Cover with remaining bread slices, cream cheese-sides down.
Whisk eggs and milk until well blended; pour over bread. Cover; refrigerate overnight.
Heat oven to 350ºF. Bake, uncovered, 30 to 35 min. or until center is set and top is lightly browned. Serve topped with fruit and some powdered sugar :)
*If you are making them the morning of, just make sure the sandwich is fully covered in the egg mixture and cook it right away on a pan until both sides are browned.

11.14.2012

tid+ bits via instaLOVE♥

pizza night with some great girlfriends - these ladies make me laugh like no other   fun fall tights obnoxious phone case i got one night when i was bored, this thing glitters like crazy haha french onion soup from mimi's cafe is one of my favorite things ever  dying over all the adorableness going on while shopping for my future niece listening to my husband play guitar - such a talented guy baby shower!

♥ ♥ ♥
 
 
 
a great giveaway going on mish's blog ;)

11.12.2012

what is your intention?

One of my favorite bloggers to read is Raven from Don't Quote the Raven, she is opinionated and outspoken in all the ways that make you smirk, and I love it. I have been reading her for a long time now and have always loved how she just says it how it is - yet when you scrape away the sarcasm she is always still being a nice girl. There is a fine balance when it comes to opinions, critiques, and sarcasm - which can leave some women just looking like "mean girls" if they don't do it right.

This summer Raven wrote this blog post which mostly discussed how some people act when it comes to blogging, but it made me think about how women act toward each other in general, and what a problem we have among us. As women, shouldn't we be uplifting each other? Bringing each other up? Being kind?

Too often I feel that women just want to judge, critique, and talk about each other. I am by no means perfect in regards to this, we have all done this before. But this is something that has been on my mind the last few months, and I have really been reflecting on how I think about people, how I talk about them, and what my intentions are with the people I interact with. I mean, why is it so easy to judge or gossip about someone? Why do we do this to each other? All too often people mask their hateful words behind "their opinion" as if that somehow makes what they are saying appropriate or justified. Or when you think you are being "sassy" are you really just being rude?



While people have been talking crap about each other since the beginning of time, I feel the internet has made people feel like they can get away with saying whatever they want. They wouldn't say it directly to your face, but they have no problem saying it online, and hey, if they don't actually put who they are talking about, they aren't really being mean, right?

I once saw someone on twitter post, "If that diamond on your finger isn't a perfect D in color, you should re-evaluate. And not post pictures of it on facebook for me to judge."

Um ouch. I read this and thought, I hope the girl whose ring that is doesn't see this! I mean, usually the people on your facebook are your friends (or maybe they were just facebook stalking). So the fact that this person was talking about their "friend's" (or anyone's for that matter) ring just blows my mind. I mean, how sad.

Maybe this girl and her fiance couldn't afford the "best" ring, but she is still so happy, excited, and proud to be engaged and she wants to share it with everyone! And as her friend (or a decent person), shouldn't you just be excited for her? And why would someone care so much about something like this, enough to take the time to put it on twitter? If you didn't like her ring, just keep it to yourself, you don't need to go to the effort to say "how dare she be excited about getting engaged and put a picture of her "ugly" ring online." I mean, how much ruder can you get?

With all these thoughts running through my head about this person's comment, I had to stop and honestly admit to myself that I have had just as rude of thoughts about people. In fact I was having a rude thought about the person who had just posted that on twitter, what made me any better? I wasn't.

So what is our problem ladies? Why do we feel like we can say whatever thought we have about someone or something and then go a step further and put it online? Sure we all judge, we all have thoughts and opinions and we are entitled to those - HOWEVER it doesn't mean you have to share it, especially if it crosses the line into "mean girl" status.

I get it, finding that right balance of sharing your opinions and thoughts can be a toughie, but I think we should ask ourselves, "Am I saying this to be mean, or am I saying this to give input?" And what kind of input are we giving? Is it to help, make someone feel bad, or are we being rude? Granted some people are just sensitive to everything, and you can't control that, but we can control our intentions. What are our intentions? 

We don't all have to agree, we don't all have to get along and be best friends, but shouldn't we all be at least trying our best to be kind to one another? Don't people for the most part deserve that basic respect? And if at the end of the day you just don't like someone, then just don't have anything to do with them. There is no need to post mean things about them online, or tweet nasty remarks in attempts to make yourself feel better  - just smile and move on people.

And if we want to take the extra step, we can even try working on the thoughts we don't say out loud - because shouldn't we be accountable for those as well? This is my new goal, to constantly ask myself what my intentions are for saying something, and why I am thinking it. Here is to becoming better, I hope you will join me.

I would just like to end with this beautiful quote that says it a million times better then I ever could.

Elder Marvin J. Ashton beautifully observed...

“Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don’t judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someone’s differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn’t handle something the way we might have hoped. Charity is refusing to take advantage of another’s weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us. Charity is expecting the best of each other.”

 I love this quote, and am happy I found a cool graphic of it on Pinterest!


11.11.2012

passionfruitad mixer...

Have you guys ever heard of Passionfruit Ads? I have seen them around the past year or so on different people's blogs and what not, and knew they worked with bloggers when it came to managing their ads for them. What I didn't know was just how dang fun their company was! :)

Last night I was invited to attend a mixer they were holding in Salt Lake City for a bunch of bloggers. Free for anyone, local food, music, giveaways, networking with other bloggers and enjoying eachother's company. It was fun to hang out and meet new people and talk about blogging. There is nothing like meeting up with a bunch of other bloggers who "get" what you are talking about.

So if your blog is growing and the ads on your sidebar are becoming another job you don't want to deal with, you should really look into Passionfruit Ads to help you out. Having done ad space on other blogs using them, I can tell you they are quick and efficient - an amazing company to work with! Check them out!

 fun times were had by all :)


11.07.2012

sky diving & surfing... the fake kind.

the pictures are horrible quality because they were screen shot from the video we got. these images just don't do the chaos justice that is going on in there, haha.

I may have possibly been complaining to Trevor latley about how I hate law school, how I am over it, and sick and tired of him studying all the time because we never get to hang out.

Granted we have made a big effort to schedule more planned dates together, and it has been fun, but I guess I am a greedy wife who wants even more time :)

Well Trevor must have been listening because last week he told me had a surprise for me, and asked if I could get part of my work day off on Friday. A SURPRISE?! I love a good surprise, and of course I have to try and figure it out because that is my nature. All week I was trying to guess what it was but I couldn't figure it out.

Once I heard we were headed up to Ogden I knew what it had to be. Trevor and I had talked about trying out the indoor skydiving they have up there and how we wanted to try it sometime. I mean why else would we be driving to Ogden?
(those not from Utah - Ogden is a city just north of Salt Lake, there is no real reason to go there unless you know someone - which we don't ha)

I was so excited when I was right :) Indoor Skydiving?! I was pretty stoked!

It was fun to take off work, school, life and do something fun together :) I love that Trevor had picked up on me wanting to spend more time with him and made the effort to plan a surprise for me. Love that man.

I wasn't nervous until I got there and saw the people doing it. It was a pretty strange experience having 160 mile winds blasting you up so you are floating. Odd is about the only word I can think of to describe it, cool, but odd. Trevor and I both agreed it was such a foreign concept and you spend so much time thinking about how to place your body etc. it was hard for us to say it was "super fun." It was definitely exciting though and I think it could get more enjoyable the more you do it. It is something everyone should experience, the whole idea of floating!

At one point the instructor grabbed me and flung me around in circles up and down the tube with him. WOWZA! Spit was flying out of my mouth, and I was having a mild freak out but enjoying it all at the same time. It was just overall an interesting experience! haha

wipe ouuuttttt!

After the indoor skydiving we hit up the flowrider for an hour. It was a total BLAST! It was much easier to get into because waves is something Trevor and I both have experienced before. I wont lie though, the wave was INTENSE! At one point I wiped out and wasn't expecting it to literally pick me up and throw me over the top of the whole wave contraption... yeah I may have bruised my hip.

To say we woke up sore was an understatement, but it was such a fun date night! We topped the night off with dinner with friends. Having some time off and doing something fun together and then seeing our friends, it just made for a great day. We don't get a lot of time to do stuff like that together, and it was just really really nice :) thanks for planning such a great day Trevor!


P.S. The amazing Kelly from Messy Dirty Hair is having a killer giveaway... 
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